Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Michael McKean Remembered Annette O'Toole Was Called His Wife Before Their First Kiss and 22 Years of Marriage

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 05, 2022
12:20 A.M.
Share this pen

When Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole met, they'd already gone through one marriage each and had children. The call that led to their first date saw the actress react very tellingly.


On October 17, 1947, Michael McKean was born in New York City and became a big Hollywood star. However, before stardom, Michael enrolled himself at New York University.

He struggled briefly with drugs and was also involved in the late-1960s protest movement. The star then met Susan Russell, who was from Los Angeles, in 1970, and he followed her to the coast.

Michael McKean starring on an episode of “Laverne & Shirley” on January 12, 1982, and he with Annette O'Toole at the 22nd annual Critics' Choice Awards with Porsche on December 11, 2016, in Santa Monica, California | Photos: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content & Todd Williamson/Getty Images


The couple got married later that year, stayed together for 23 years, and also welcomed two children, Fletcher and Colin McKean. Sadly, their marriage ended in divorce in 1993.

Michael has since worked as an actor and director, with roles on shows like "Laverne & Shirley" and "Law & Order." He's also known for his appearances in "This Is Spinal Tap," "A Mighty Wind," "Saturday Night Live," and "Better Call Saul."

Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole during the Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Pier in California, on February 28, 2004 | Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images


The actor's second and current wife, Annette O'Toole, also came from another marriage. She married Bill Geisslinger on April 8, 1983, before they divorced in 1993.

During their marriage, they welcomed two children as well, Nell and Anna Geisslinger. The actress has appeared in "Superman III," "Smallville," "Gunsmoke," and "Law & Order."



By the time O'Toole and Michael met, neither one was looking for anything romantic or even thinking about marriage. The actress was more interested in getting back to Los Angeles, settling, working, and placing her daughters in school.

However, the couple was ready to tie the knot after their first date! The only thing that stopped them was their individual children from their past marriages, whom they had to talk to first.



Before the pair had their first date, the first time Michael saw and met O'Toole was at a screening at Universal Studios. She'd attended the event with Bruno Kirby, and Michael attended alone.

Michael thought Kirby had a beautiful girlfriend and assumed she was nice. They got to be around and meet each other at different events for approximately 20 years.

Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole at the Second Stage Theatre's Off-Broadway Opening Night After Party for "Man From Nebraska" on February 15, 2017, in New York City | Photo: Walter McBride/WireImage/Getty Images


Then the pair got to star together in "Final Justice" in Portland, Oregon and finally became friends. They even stayed in touch while O'Toole lived in Ashland, Oregon, and one late night, at 11 p.m., he called her.

Michael broke the ice by telling the actress that the late-night TV show "ER" was over even though he never watched it. O'Toole was quite excited when he called and found out it was him; she also could tell from his voice that he liked her.


However, because the actress's daughter was sick at the time, O'Toole asked Michael to call back the following day, and he agreed. The star was so thrilled by the interaction that when she put the phone down, she went to the bathroom, jumped a couple of times, and let out a silent scream before saying to herself:

“I’m not 14, what am I doing here?”


Even though she was skeptical about him calling her the next day, Michael stuck to his word. The duo then went on their first date, and it was the beginning of a fantastic relationship.


The two stars went on a two-part first date. Before going to the central part of the date, Michael and O'Toole decided to do some shopping by looking for a pair of dress boots that he needed.

Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole kiss after performing a song at the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards on March 7, 2013, in Austin, Texas | Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images


The pair visited a store called The Shoe Lord and bought a pair of Bally shoes which he still has today. Michael wanted to break the boots in, put his old pair in a box, and left it behind while paying.

However, when he turned back and looked for the box with the old shoes, the actor couldn't find them. That's when one of the assistants at the store told him they'd given the box to his "wife," referring to O'Toole!


The assistant assumed the pair were married even though it was their first date! The actress heard the comment, and when they left the store, she jokingly said to her date:

“In case you are wondering, the answer is ‘Yes.’”



Michael then took his date back to her house to get ready for the second part of their date. The duo went to UCLA, where Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Van Morrison played a gig.

It was as if O'Toole had known Michael all their lives as they clutched each other throughout the performances and even cried! Morrison sang his hit song, "Have I Told You Lately," which became the couple's song.


Sadly, the year after their first date, the shoe store that they had gone to disappeared. O'Toole and Michael still ended up tying the knot on March 20, 1999.

At the time when Michael [McKean] and [Annette] O’Toole’s 20th anniversary was coming up, he teased his wife saying how people said their relationship wouldn’t last.



The couple got to work and act together and even composed the song "This Is Spinal Tap" for the film "A Mighty Wind." They also wrote the track "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow," which was performed by Mitch & Mickey.

In 2005, the pair held an event called An Evening with Michael McKean & Annette O'Toole: No Standards. They performed their original songs, including the Oscar Award-nominated "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow."


Fans got to hear tracks from "Spinal Tap," "A Mighty Wind," and songs from the couple's upcoming musical. Some of the titles from the musical included "Banjo Daddy" and "Potato's in the Paddy Wagon."


In August 2008, the Chicago Tribune revealed that Michael and O'Toole lived in West Los Angeles, above Culver City in California. However, they sublet an apartment in New York City that they used when needed.


Their four children sometimes stayed with their parents in Los Angeles from time to time. With Michael and O'Toole's 20th anniversary coming up in 2018, he teased his wife, saying how people said their relationship wouldn't last.

However, as part of an ongoing gag they had, the couple brushed off the "imagined" rumors noting that no one had said it wouldn't last! Instead, according to the two actors, people thought the relationship was a good idea!